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Police urging gun owners to review security

Second firearms related burglary has Police urging gun owners to review security
Mr Plas inspects a recovered firearm

Check your security and how you secure your guns is the message from Waikato Police following a second burglary in the District over recent days that targeted firearms.

District Arms Officer, Richard Plas, said in this latest incident it appears burglars have specifically been after firearms when they went to a Hamilton property over the weekend.

"The victim in this case had locked up his home and gone to bed when the offenders obtained the keys to a large detached garage and workshop from his unlocked car that was parked in the driveway.

"Using the keys to gain entry into the garage, the offenders have then used tools found inside the workshop to force entry into the safe, gaining access to seven rifles."

Mr Plas said in this case there is no indication the victim had not secured his firearms appropriately but by leaving keys in his unlocked car he had allowed the offenders the ability to breach his layered security.

"Have multi-layered security is what Police recommend, if you secure your keys somewhere where the thieves can't access them then it denies them ease of access to your home our outbuildings. Then, if you have a burglar alarm, if they try and break-in it is likely the alarm's activation will spook them or wake the owner who can raise the alarm.

"Police are asking all gun owners, regardless of their security levels, to periodically reassess their security arrangements and if opportunities are identified for improvement we would encourage owners to take them."

One of the most effective measures to guard against items being stolen and lost without trace is also one of the cheapest in fact, it's free, said Mr Plas.

"Recording photos and serial numbers of firearms on secure databases such as on the Op SNAP website, (www.snap.org.nz) is a really effective tool for Police investigating burglaries and insurers.

"All too often Police recover property and have no way of proving the person in possession of it has stolen it, in cases like that the property then has to be returned which is frustrating not only to victims but our staff as well."

Mr Plas said increasingly, whenever Police came across illicit drug operations the offenders were protecting their investments did so with illegally obtained firearms.

"There is an active market for such items so we encourage firearms owners to do everything they can to prevent themselves from becoming victims and continuously look at ways to improve their security."


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